By Marc Livitz: Ivan "El Terrible" Redkach maintained his unbeaten record Friday by way of a unanimous yet tedious decision win over Sergey Gulyakevich at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, Missouri. The light welterweight contest appeared to be a case of fighting to win against fighting to survive.
The lanky Gulyakevich tried his best to reach away at the undefeated Redkach and test his jab. Ivan used his right jab to set up his left to the body of his Belarus opponent who had about two weeks to prepare for the fight after accepting it with such short notice. Sergey was light on the balls of his feet to begin the second. He kept trying to connect with a looping left hook but Redkach would have none of it. Gulyakevich continued to fire his jab off of his lead foot.
Ivan got his attention in the final minute of round three by way of a meaningful three punch combination. A left from Redkach sent Sergey briefly into the ropes in the fourth. He seemed to grow more and more aggravated at his opponents reluctance to actually fight. His frustration was quite visible.
Sergey Gulyakevich was a different man in the fifth in terms of his output. He looked like he was trying to change the action just a bit. He threw more punches and did his best to stay clear of Redkach’s rebuttals. The sixth round saw Sergey continue his activity levels, yet he was doing no damage to his Ukrainian adversary. Redkach came out firing to begin the seventh, which led to his opponent from Minsk, Belarus to tie up whenever he could. The strategy seemed to anger Redkach whenever Gulyakevich held onto his right arm.
Referee Steve Smoger finally warned Sergey to quit the holding just moments into round eight. Gulyakevich found himself on the receiving end of a brief onslaught from Redkach after he temporarily lost his balance near the end of the stanza. Ivan kept walking into Sergey’s traps. He’d land a decent shot and then he’d get the clinch as the ninth round wore on and on. His resume boasted thirteen knockouts in his previous sixteen contests. He may have wondered why he couldn’t close the show. Regardless, he was easily wining the contest.
On to the tenth and final round went the two Eastern Europe combatants. Gulyakevich was visibly exhausted and was fighting to survive. A loss on his feet may have been his minimum satisfaction. Redkach kept on looking to land the ending shot, yet he couldn’t do it tonight. The judges would ultimately decide the outcome. Their scores read as follows: 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. Ivan Redkach pushed his unbeaten record to (17-0, 13 KO’s, 1 ND), while the feisty Sergey Gulyakevich’s record fell to (41-3, 17 KO’s).
Co-Main Event - Kielczweski Roughs Up Luna
Ryan Kielczweski earned a unanimous decision win over Ramsey Luna in the evening’s co-main event. The super featherweight matchup did not disappoint.
Kielczweski looked to be the quicker of the two in the bout’s opening moments. The Quincy, Massachusetts fighter exhibited an impressive jab and left hook to the body of his Corpus Christi, Texas opponent. Ryan continued to keep Luna at a reasonable distance in round two, yet his south Texas adversary continued to bull forward and land the occasional close in body shot. Ramsey picked up the pace in the third. He was often trying to split Kielczweski’s guard for an uppercut. The phone booth style battle appeared to please the St. Charles crowd just as was the case when the two men would separate. One would usually tag the other.
Luna continued this work rate into the fourth period. Kielczweski seemed content for his opponent to stall for a moment so he could connect with a power shot. Ryan landed a flush overhand right with less than a minute to go. He was using the ring to his advantage and allowing Ramsey to walk into his shots. The fifth was much the same. The fact that Luna had yet to face a fighter who carried a winning record was beginning to show itself, as was his exclusive "Texas only" (save for one fight before tonight) record. Each man threw wide throughout much of the sixth. They were practically fighting ear to ear after which both would step back and fire heavy punches.
The pace slowed in the fight’s last two rounds. Kielczweski threw the heavier shots while Luna tried to take a more calculated approach. The three ringside judges would have to decide their rightful victor perhaps by way of the "volume vs. power" debate. Regardless, the bout was quite entertaining. The scores read as follows: 79-73 and 78-74 (x2). Ryan "Polish Prince" Kielczweski maintained his unbeaten record at (20-0, 4 KO’s), while Ramsey Luna remained winless outside of Texas. His record now stands at (12-2, 5 KO’s).
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